The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress [NDC], Joseph Nii Ade Coker, has chided President Akufo-Addo over his confession that he did not readily have statistics on the number jobs his government has created.
According to him, the President cannot be commended simply because he admitted the truth, when in reality, he should have been aware of such issues in the country.
Reacting to a question about the number of jobs his government had created at the second media encounter at the Flagstaff House on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo said, he did not have statistics on the country’s employment data, and that he was unsure it existed.
He, however, noted that, the government was in the process of collecting it, and that it would be ready by the April 2018.
“The statistics on the jobs…. I am barely one year in office. Some of these statistics are being collected as we speak now so the labour statistics as to the number of jobs that have been created, those are not statistics that are at hand anywhere. Even for the government, I believe that they are in the process of being assembled, so perhaps in two or three months, we will be in a better position to answer that question in a more effective manner,” the President said.
Many have said his response was unsatisfactory, but according to Mr. Ade Coker, it was unpardonable.
“He wasn’t candid at all. They said their flagship job creation programmes were successful. These things that they said were successful, what figures were they using to say it was successful? Do we mean not even a single job was created that the president should be in the known?
“Let’s be serious. How can you come to such an important programme and say you don’t know. You have 110 ministers with various departments at a time when 84,000 people queued for jobs… I find it ironic that the president could not with all his flagship programmes which he said are successful, could not tell us the number of jobs he has created. He is not being truthful,” Ade Coker said on The Big Issue on Saturday.
He further suggested that the government had failed in its much-touted policies hence its inability to provide accurate data on the number of jobs created in the last 12 months.
“The policies that they are pursuing have not worked, that is why they were not able to tell us that for one year, these are the jobs they created,” Ade Coker added.
Gov’t working without employment data
A Deputy Minister for Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, has argued that the government’s policies and programs aimed at ensuring development in the country can go ahead, whiles efforts are being made to collate the necessary data on the country’s labour force.
According to him, the government must not halt its activities due to the unavailability of up-to-date employment figures.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show in reaction to the President’s answer to the question, he said, “it is wrong to say that because of all these inadequacies, the government is not in the position to design policies to improve the unemployment situation…The strategies to know accurately how many are unemployed and what kind of employment they are looking for is not something we can do overnight and we cannot wait to do all that before we design policies to address unemployment”.